"We are negotiating with the European Union about possible purchases of our beef," Vasily Lavrovsky, of the Rosselkhoznadzor, a federal agency in charge of veterinary and phytosanitary monitoring, told RIA Novosti.
Brussels banned Russian beef imports several years ago after an outbreak of the contagious foot-and-mouth viral disease (FMD) in the Far East. The World Organization for Animal Health has recently declared most of the country free of FMD without vaccination.
"A buffer zone with continued inoculations will be retained along Russia’s southern border, but most of the territory has been declared FMD-free without vaccination, which will allow us to explore new markets," Lavrovsky said.
He added that the watchdog was on the fence about mass imports of Turkish fruit and vegetable. He said the agency’s mission recently inspected warehouses in Turkey that used to store agricultural products designated for Russia. Experts detected violations of sanitary norms that need to be addressed.